I have a friend named Jeff whose son is 10 months old. Like many parents, Jeff and his wife often tap out a few Cheerios on the highchair tray – they’re easy for little fingers to pick up, and easy to chew when you only have half-a-dozen teeth.
Little does Jeff realize that he’s drugging his infant son.
Well…that’s what the FDA says.
This past spring, the FDA informed General Mills that health claims made in the advertising of Cheerios qualify the cereal as a drug.
Unfortunately for GM, that means Cheerios is also an UNAPPROVED drug. And since the FDA is in the business of approving drugs…you get the picture.
Cheerios advertising notes that soluble fiber from foods that contain whole grain oats can reduce the risk of heart disease. And while FDA officials allow that claim, they say the advertising neglects to mention that whole grains should be eaten with fiber-containing fruit and vegetables – otherwise, no reduction in heart disease risk.
That was nearly five months ago.
Here’s a note that appears on the Cheerios website today: “Three grams of soluble fiber daily from whole grain oat foods, like Cheerios cereal, in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”
So…where are the fruits and veggies?
Ask your doctor if Cheerios is right for you.
“General Mills Cheerios Cereal is a Drug, Says FDA” Lorraine Heller, NutraIngredients-USA, 5/13/09, nutraingredients-usa